At tonight's Met Gala, all eyes will be on the red carpet. Who's wearing what, who shows up with whom, and most importantly, what's going to happen with Beyoncé?

But before the celebs assemble their glam squads and the adoring fans line the streets of Fifth Avenue for a glimpse of the pomp and circumstance, the team at Vogue has to spend an entire year planning behind closed doors. This leads to a cloak-and-dagger situation when it comes to fashion's biggest event. Who gets the coveted invites? Who gets the best seat in the house? And who's actually shelling out the $25,000 ticket price?

It's time to lift the (couture) veil.

The first step in planning the most kickass party of the year is making sure that the most kickass people will be there. Anna Wintour, all-commanding editor-in-chief of Vogue, is also the High Priestess of this coveted guest list. No one gets in without being vetted and ultimately approved by her. To keep it as exclusive as possible, the Vogue team makes an initial list of 500 people—but it ultimately grows from there. There are a lot of kickass people to invite, natch.

But before all the A-listers make the cut, they have to invite the big spenders. That would be the non-celebrities, the regular millionaires, if you will. Fashion houses and big companies like Amazon, as well as the museum's highest regular donors are all graciously given the opportunity to purchase tables, for a cool price of, like hundreds of thousands of dollars. How nice, right? Then the real fun can start.

The Met Gala has an age-old tradition of keeping the fashion designer-celebrity partnerships alive. All the biggest designers choose one actress to wear a dress that they create just for the party. All sorts of politics go into these pairings—the A-listers have to have a relationship with the designer, of course, but they also need to perfectly represent their aesthetic, and be okayed by Miss Wintour.